Re: AI Hardware improving

From: J. Andrew Rogers (
Date: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 16:34:35 MST

BillK wrote:
> There are other startups doing similar projects, but Orion seem to
> actually have something available now. So for quite reasonable money,
> you can now give each programmer their own personal Linux cluster.

There is wide consensus that the Orion and similar is a solution looking
for a problem. The only way it makes sense is if your priorities are
low power consumption above all else, and in practice hardly anyone
interested in supercomputing has that as a priority. You can buy
Opteron SMP systems for the same money with similar computing power and
much broader applicability since that will also give you ultra-fast
shared memory. And if you buy low-power Opterons (e.g. the 30W
ultra-low power versions), you end up in the ballpark power-wise as
well, though for a little more dough.

Orion is mostly about buzzword compliance and the neat trick of packing
gobs of modest processors in a tiny space. It is not a spectacularly
powerful system for most real-world applications, nor is it a good
solution to most supercomputing problems. Style over substance.

j. andrew rogers

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